Start or Grow Your Veteran-Owned Business

Veterans Initiative

Nearly one in four active duty service members and veterans want to open and operate their own business. Opportunity, freedom, and solving problems attract them to the challenge of owning a business. If you’re looking to join the ranks of the 2.4 million military veterans who run their own business (U.S. Census), we can assist you.

The UCF Business Incubation Program recognizes veterans are equipped with a powerful set of skills including leadership, striving for excellence and completing the mission. Through the incubator’s Veterans Initiative, we help veterans realize and leverage those skills in an entrepreneurial setting. Whether you’re veteran looking to explore an idea for a potential business or need help scaling your existing company, Our Mission is to empower and support veteran entrepreneurs through business guidance, education and mentorship.

If you’re a veteran entrepreneur, we want to hear from you!

Program Overview

Through our partnership with Veterans Florida, the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program offers qualified veterans a tuition-free, online and on-campus instruction designed to match up with your level of knowledge and your busy schedule.

The program provides three pathways of instruction. The first pathway comprises online lessons that will familiarize you with basic terminology and concepts. The second pathway offers specialized workshops held on the campuses of our six academic partners. The third pathway is an advanced on-campus program that delves more deeply into all aspects of entrepreneurship.

Discover (Online Courses)

Learn the basics of entrepreneurship at your own pace with our online curriculum. Perfect for veterans contemplating entrepreneurship. Open to all vets.

Explore (On-Campus Workshops)

2-3 hour workshops held at UCF Business Incubation Program at 12201 Research Parkway, Room 211, Orlando, FL 32826. Ideal for those with early-stage ideas or companies. Open to all vets. Our workshop schedule for Fall 2017 is as follows:

  • October 4, 2017 – 4:30pm-6:30pm – Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • October 18, 2017- 4:30pm-6:30pm – Recognizing Opportunities
  • November 15, 2017 – 4:30pm-6:30pm -Cash-Flow and Seeking Funds
  • December 13, 2017 – 4:30pm-6:30pm – So You Want to Start a Business?
  • January 17, 2017 – 4:30pm-6:30pm – Marketing
  • TBD: Networking Fundamentals

Please register to attend.

Master (Advanced Program)

60 hours of in-class training held at one of our six participating institutions of higher education designed to prepare participants for all elements of entrepreneurship. For veterans with well-defined business ideas or early-stage companies. Veterans learn to test and validate their ideas or business concepts using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Methodology. Acceptance required.

The advanced program will take place from February 2018 to May 2018. Seats are limited. Apply today. The selection process will run from August 2017 until January 2018.

Apply today!

 Support Network

Veterans entrepreneurs gain access to the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and support network through one-on-one coaching and ongoing  workshops on topics relevant to emerging businesses.

Community Partners

Peer mentoring and collaboration is a critical element to business success. As we take on this role of supporting veteran entrepreneurs throughout Central Florida, we welcome partnerships and invite veterans and non-veterans alike to get involved with the Veterans Initiative. Please join us in supporting veteran entrepreneurs as they launch and grow businesses while creating jobs and growth in the Central Florida region. To learn more about how you or your organization could get involved, please contact us:

Rebecca Hertz
Program Coordinator
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rebecca.hertz@ucf.edu
(321)247-8628

Ricardo Garcia
Program Manager
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rg@ucf.edu
(407)823-2346

Rafael Caamano
Program Manager
Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program
UCF Business Incubation Program
rafael@ucf.edu
(407)278-4880

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Military Branch
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Military Status
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Employment Status
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Briefly describe your business concept.

Which of the following steps have you taken towards launching your business?
Written a business plan/canvasResearched your marketAssembled a teamApplied for or secured financingLocated an appropriate spaceSet up an accounting systemApplied for permits or licensesRegistered your business